Annual General Meeting 2016

Published on March 8, 2015 by in Uncategorized


YORKSHIRE  CROQUET FEDERATION AGM ( Draft until agreed and signed at the AGM in 2017)


Apologies for absence:-  Alison Larard, Rena Souten, Denise Hoyle, Wendy Prescott, Alan Jeavons, Adrian Simmerson. David Wilson, Wendy Bulmer.

Minutes of 2015 Meeting:- Were amended and signed by Anna Giraud.

Matters arising:-   Ted Flexman spoke about the Inter–Federation competition between Yorkshire and Croquet North on 25th Sept 2016. The Match was played between 2 teams of 8 players from each Federation reflecting a balance of GC and AC players. There were 3 rounds- Alternative stroke doubles AC, Golf doubles and One Ball singles. Because of illness Yorkshire could only field 7 players so one player played solo in the doubles matches and only 7 singles scored in the One ball. In a very closely fought contest Croquet North emerged the winners and were awarded Gold Medals – Yorkshire had to settle for Silver! The hospitality and food were top class and a genuine camaraderie developed between the two Federations and between players who had never played together before. Thanks to Sheffield, Ryedale, Bishop Monkton, York and Ripon who all provided players for the Yorkshire team. This year it will be held at home in York (2ndJuly 2017). Anna thanked Ted for his work in organising the competition.

Chairman’s Report:- Anna Giraud-Firstly- As Chairman of the Federation, I’m proud of the players we have, who have been so successful that they have been reported in the Croquet Gazette!!.  Secondly- Congratulations to David Widdison who is the first winner of the National GC A-level series and also winner of the 2nd Selectors eight – prestigious tournaments. (David was presented with the Trophy.)  To add to Bishop Monkton’s honours, Richard Field has been honoured with a British Citizens Award for services to the community, presented at the House of Lords. Also reported were the Nottingham August week wins of Rena Souten in the D-class and my success winning the Robin Hood Trophy (won in the ’90s by my son!)As your representative on the CA Council, I have been part of the Constitutional changes, set in motion after the vote to change the format of the Membership. [Federations, Club] Thank you to those who responded to the Strategy questionnaire- obviously aimed at the Federation, but only as valid as the opinions of the membership. If anyone else has a comment to make, please email me as soon as you can. I am a member of the coaching committee, as a member of Council, and think that my input has had an influence on the use of York CC as a Centre of Coaching Excellence. SO please use it! I have also been looking into the coaches available to each Federation, and where more are needed. Do talk to Derek – your Coaching Officer and to John Harris about the York Courses where you find a gap. I shall leave other comments on this up to them.

Subscriptions:– It was agreed to keep the Subscription to The Federation the same as there is enough money at present in reserve. Derek Knight suggested that the Federation could pay for the “Coaching for coaches” courses to be held at York next season. 1 paid person per club at £55 per course was agreed. Andrea Widdison asked about Referees Courses. John Crossland said he would assist in Referee courses. There is an “On Line” test available from the CA. Derek Knight thought that the CA should pay for courses as this benefits all clubs. Every game should have a Referee although players are expected to referee themselves. David Widdison said there were not enough Golf Tournaments, it was pointed out that we had tried a Federation Tournament and there was not any response. John Harris indicated that there could be a Referee course planned for the following year. It was agreed each club should have at least 1 person as a Referee.

Proposed Amendments to League Rules:- Peter Jones of Sheffield U3A proposed an amendment to the Golf Croquet competitions. He would like a good Number of Matches in a League.


1a. There should be only ONE competitive golf league. (Based on past experience and to attract a sufficient number of teams this should be for handicap play.  However this is not part of the proposal and if desired by clubs this could be for level play)

1b      Should 1a be passed, it is proposed:

  • If 10 or fewer teams apply to play in the league there should be only one division. With 5 teams or fewer, then each team play home and away against the others. With 6 to 10 teams, each team plays each other only once. (Home & away matches equally divided at discretion & direction of league manager)
  • If 11-14 teams apply to play in the league, these be split into 2 divisions by the league manager according to perceived likely strength of team. League manager to decide whether teams in each division play home & away or only once against the others in the division.
  • If 15 or more teams apply to play in the league, these be split into 3 divisions by the league manager according to perceived likely strength of team. League manager to decide whether teams in each division play home & away or only once against the others in the division.

Andrea Widdison said that we have only had 1 year to try the system put forward last year and we should continue. Level play develops the game and Handicap play is unfair to better players. To revert to Handicap only play would be a backward step for the development of Golf Croquet  in our Federation as other Federations focus on Level play. Having a Handicap League AS WELL benefits the less strong players.


Ted Fexman said Ripon had had to cancel 3 times due to travelling and other problems. It was suggested that there be Home or Away Matches as travelling the full length of the Federation is difficult for some.  It also considered a North/South split to limit travel with a play off between the 2 winners.


Peter Jones wants more matches whilst others say it’s too many.


Julie Milne (Brodsworth) said at present our members prefer to play in a handicap league but, if in the future, we find that we have sufficient players interested in playing in the level league, we will enter a team in the level league as well. Owen Jones stated that clubs could play in both. Brodsworth will vote against this proposal to amend the league rules. The present rules ( agreed at the 2015 AGM ) gives the clubs the choice of level or handicap competition or both with regard to the size of the league, we have found that playing against 3 other teams ( home and away ) has worked well and has allowed us to fit in Friendly matches to cater for our less competitive members.


After a survey:-3 clubs want “level play” plus Home and Away. 4 clubs want handicap plus Home or Away. Peter Jones then withdrew his Proposal.

League Managers Report. Anna Giraud.

Bishop Monkton won Golf Level Play –   presented to Andrea Widdison.

Sheffield won Golf Handicap/ Short Lawn/Full Lawn -all Trophies were presented to John Crossland.      Congratulations to all.

Development Officers Report.:- John Harris- Lepton CC – delighted that Lepton is now a full member of the CA.  Saltaire – it is hoped that a new Croquet Club can be formed, based at Roberts Park.  Bradford Council are sympathetic and the Roberts Trustees supportive.  An Open Day attracted much interest but a follow-up session proved disappointing.  Another attempt will be made to launch this new Club in 2017.

York U3A – this GC group goes from strength to strength, and now meets (on the York CC lawns) twice a week.  The hope is that in 2017 they can be encouraged to play more friendlies.  This may in due course inspire them to join the Federation.


Coaching Officers Report:-Derek Knight- Due to ill health my activities as coaching officer in my first year were severely curtailed. I did run a six-week course of one hour sessions at York covering basic skills and development of breaks. This was well received by about ten people who attended each week. I completed some ad-hoc coaching at Beverley whilst unable to play. I had requests to provide one day training sessions at Ryedale, Ben Rhydding and Broadsworth Hall. I hope to provide these in the coming season.

I have supported John Harris in the development of the Northern Croquet Academy which will provide nine courses in the early part of next season. I will be delivering two courses, basic skills and practice routines. I will also be supporting Roger Staples to deliver one or possibly two courses, working towards Silver and Coach training for coaches. During the last year despite illness I supported Rodger in course delivery and was awarded the Grade 2 coaching badge. I have supported John Harris in trying to get the CA to pay for coach training and as a short term measure I am proposing that the Federation subsidise the cost of coach training for coaches, limited to one member per club.

Handicapping Officers Report:- John Crossland told us that there were no complaints and the handicapping system is working well. Most people are filling in their cards and next season will bear it out. He wants people to try for their Yellow badge and become club coaches. (You take the course and are then assessed before you get your badge.) Short lawn should now have a card and not a transposition from their Full Lawn Card.

Website Manager:- Rena Souten sent a report. I’ve added all the match results that I have received. Not actually received any since early Sept. Results can be emailed directly to me at or by Text to 07799895350. I would ask that all club secretaries encourage members to check the website as all latest rules and changes are on the site. Please send me photos and match reports if you would like them on the website.

Federation Annual Tournaments:- At present there is only the Short and Full Lawn Tournaments. Andrea Widdison would like a Golf Tournament again and will try to reinstate it at Bishop Monkton. The format to be discussed. [2 Golf Croquet Competitions have now been arranged at Bishop Monkton. ]

Short Lawn at York -28th May 2017.  Full Lawn -2nd/3rdSept 2017.  Inter -Federation- 2nd July 2017.   Yorkshire plays the England Ladies -13th /14th May2017 at York. (The county is chosen on their ranking.) AC advanced play.

Coaching courses:- Northern Croquet Academy – this is now being formally launched, and is based at York.  Nine courses are being offered in 2017, some one-day and some two-day, all of them led by experienced and qualified coaches.  Particular thanks to Anna Giraud, Derek Knight and, from the CA, Roger Staples, all of whom have been very supportive of this development.

Club Reports:-

Sheffield:- John Crossland –We have had a good year and won well. Thanks to the Captains. They have 30 members with a further 30ish of University regular players, which is run independently- playing both AC and Golf. This will hopefully bring in younger people.

Brodsworth:- 2016 has been a good year for the Club. The lawns have been in good condition throughout the season. Our National Croquet Day event was a great success and we intend to hold another one in 2017.  We held 3 free taster mornings for the public in the early part of the season and managed to sign up 7 new members as a result. Our membership now stands at 39 full members, 2 junior members and 7 social members. We have also bought some new croquet balls and mallets. Does anyone want to buy some second hand croquet balls?

Sheffield U3A:- Have had a quiet year, but marred at league level by too few matches.  Now have upwards of 70 members with 30 on average playing per afternoon. 17 resigned at start of 2016 but 12 new this season with 9 on a waiting list. Distinct split between competitive and social Play. Very enjoyable croquet.

York:-    Membership is now around 60.  This is double the membership four years ago when the opportunity arose to move from one full lawn to two.  The opportunity has now arisen to take on the third full lawn, sharing it with bowls, but with croquet having access for two-thirds of the week, including all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  This will be a very significant financial challenge, particularly as it coincides with the Council withdrawing from lawn maintenance and the club having to pay the full cost to an independent contractor.  To move to financial stability will involve the Club expanding to 90-100 members and being creative in maximising all available sources of additional income.  Even so the Club is in good heart and looks to the future with confidence.

The York Open Short Lawn Tournament is 16/17 September 2017.

Ripon Spa Hotel:-  Ted Fexman- Have had trouble with their equipment and bad lawns at the beginning of the season, it’s now good. The Members bought 6 new sets of balls, 1 Dawson and 5 Sunshinny.(Bad) They held the York(shire ?) Open Tournament where the AC World Champion played. What a delight.

Bishop Monkton:- Report by Jack Upsall- 62 members evenly split between the Village and U3A sections playing Golf Croquet. The U3A section played only friendly fixtures, while the Village played in both the Level play and the Handicap leagues, as well as a full programme of friendly matches. The 2 new lawns are developing well after their 2nd full season of play. 3 members were involved in external fixtures- one competed in the National B level, one took part in the inaugural Yorkshire Fed/Croquet North inter Federation Challenge and one won the National A Level and was selected for the second 8 to compete for the Kate Jones Trophy and also qualified for the Ascot Cup.

Beverley & East Riding CC:- The club continues at about the same level of membership. 22 playing AC and 30 U3A members playing GC.

Despite great efforts to publicise National Croquet Day and getting match reports published in the Beverley Guardian we only attracted 1 new member. We have continued to invest in lawn improvement by using a lawn tractor donated by a member and purchasing a Sarrel spiked roller which is intended to reduce thatch and level the surface. We had a reasonable performance in the leagues and managed to fulfil all our commitments. The U3A players have expressed an interest in forming a GC section of the club with the possibility of matches with other clubs. At the end of the season we were approached by a group of players from Barmston near Bridlington who are playing AC on the village car park. They came to the club for a coaching day which was enjoyed by all, we hope to develop the relationship next year when some of their members may wish to be country members at Rowley.

Huddersfield:-  Marjorie Eldon. We were asked to leave the ground in May, they offered a new site that was not suitable with poor access and no facilities. They have now investigated several sites but with no luck. Now playing in Greenhead Park on a Bowling Green.  This has brought Croquet to the attention of the public and have now 1 new member from the World Croquet Day. Have now 26 members with 2/3 Golf and 1/3 AC. CA Tournaments have been played away. At Nottingham Anna and Rena won 2 Trophies. Richard Forman won at Pendle. We are looking for a new home ground.

Lepton:- Margaret Wood-Now 20 members. Last year at the AGM I told you of the problems we were having at Lepton. The ground was very bad and I was at the end of my tether. I was in the middle of negotiating the use of the land, with a fence etc. This option was declined by the council as the land was designated as communal playing field and therefore could not be fenced. I was however given a lifeline. The council offered us the shared use of a Bowling Green in Ravensknowle Park, (only a couple of miles from Lepton).  We got the keys on the 1st April and set about marking the lawn only to be told we could not use marker paint as it was still also used as a Bowling Green. With the use of strings to mark the boundary we now have an excellent ground to play on. Bowling green quality grass, cut 3 times a week, great!

Soon afterwards Huddersfield club was declined use of their ground at Canalside and so many of the Huddersfield players joined Lepton as well. We also had to host the Home Golf games for Huddersfield as they had no facilities. We had a very successful season of croquet, both Golf and Association, and hope it will continue next year.

Ryedale:- Regrettably I have to report that our numbers have fallen to 17 members. Gillian Timms has resigned from the club due to ill health. Marion Hurd passed away in October this year.

We now have six association players, two of whom are not available for league matches.

The other members play golf croquet and the new leader is Wendy Bulmer who sends her apologies for not attending as she is moving house in the morning! She notes that they struggled to get a league team together during 2016 and they would like to withdraw from the golf league for 2017. Her contact email address is and her postal address from 21st November is 7, Aunums Close, Thornton Le Dale, Pickering YO18 7TP

During the season the club has run a golf croquet knock out competition won by John Hurd. A doubles knock out competition played on August Bank Holiday was won by Wendy Bulmer and Brenda Grayson.

The Association team have played in the short lawn league and intend to play in that league during 2017. One member from Ryedale joined the Federation team at Middlesbrough in September. Association players also took part in the club competition for the David Hoyle trophy, this year won by Mick Carter.

National Croquet Day took us to a successful day out at Nunnington Hall and visitors and staff alike enjoyed golf croquet on their lawns. As a result we are booked for a return visit in June 2017. The Ryedale Sports club had a fund raising event at which our division took part and put on some demonstration games for visitors.

We are still plagued with moles!

Election of Officers:-  All Officers agreed to continue. Passed Unanimously.

Update of Federation Leaflet:-  Several amendments were noted.

League Teams for 2017:- All clubs were asked to give their ideal match situation. Anna has a list. Friendly games could be arranged for 2018.

AOB:-   Ripon played in the Murphy National Interclub Tournament. John Crossland Queried the Secretaries Shield. Marjorie Eldon thanked the Officers for their work throughout the year.

Time and Date of next Meeting:-   19th Nov 2017. 10.00am at York.


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